The first things I noticed on Monday morning, other than the fact that my jet lag allowed me to note that the sun was up at 4 a.m., were the wide streets and the stately, low buildings. Through Lauren's neighborhood of Fredericksberg, every public building was four of five stories tall, and every street was perpendicular to the streets it crossed. I'm used to Seoul, where a row of three-story apartment buildings will be across the street from a cluster of 40-story behemoths. Lauren pointed out that the identical heights of the buildings, along with the perfect squares in which they're laid out, make the whole affair feel a bit like a maze. But it's a very orderly, neat maze.
The next thing I noticed was the incredible number of bicycles on the road. It seemed to me that there were just as many bikes as cars, but I was a bit off: I have since read that only 36 percent of people in the city commute by bike. Still, that's a lot of bicycles whizzing along an endless stream of bike lanes, and you gotta be careful: a bike coming at you at 15 per doesn't make much noise.
On Monday, Lauren escorted me past the three serene man-made lakes that separate her neighborhood from downtown. I loved the area immediately... so many runners along the gravel paths. So many swans and ducks. So much civilization. I'm not comparing it to Korea now, or rather, I'm comparing it to Korea and America. Maybe it's the expectations I took along with me, but everything in Copenhagen just seemed so clean, so orderly, so civilized.
(Except for all the graffiti. Don't harsh my mellow. And the pork thing I'm going to mention later--FORESHADOWING!)
We strolled along the old pedestrian mall...
..so we caught the subway back to Lauren and Carsten's. The whole time I was there, they fed me like a king (or possibly they were fattening me up for slaughter; who can say?) (Fun fact: Danes eat 20 pounds more pig per capita than any other country in the world. Do they know their country is on the ocean?) Lauren and Carsten had fed me handmade waffles with the best jam ever and whipped cream at breakfast; they'd given me bread so rich and tasty that I realized I'd never really had bread before in my life; the night before, Lauren had made homemade pizza, which I'd missed due to the hash. Anyway, now it was time for dinner, and, swear to Thor, I can't remember now what we had. But I remember it was amazing.